SECOND HELPINGS AND COVID 19
Meeting the Challenge for Increased Food Needs: Second Helpings Responds
The prolonged challenges of COVID-19 are straining the ability of food pantries and soup kitchens to meet the needs of families, the elderly, and the working poor. These agencies are turning to Second Helpings for support.
We estimate that the number of people needing food in Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties increased by 30 percent as a result of the pandemic. While the amount of food rescued has returned to normal, about 30 percent more food is still needed every month to meet the current demand.
With the guidance of our Board of Directors, and through the creative efforts of our staff, Second Helpings is responding to the crisis. Here’s how:
- Approving an emergency appropriation of $40,000 from the operating budget to purchase food due to reduced supply from donors at the start of the pandemic.
- Applying for and securing grants totaling $80,000 to purchase fresh and non-perishable foods for needy agencies.
- Purchasing and requiring the use of masks, use of hand sanitizer, and other preventive measures by volunteers.
- Providing safe food handling information to our food agencies.
- Collaborating with restaurants to rescue food.
- Partnering with SERG Restaurant Group to employ workers for food rescue due to a shortage of volunteers.
- Purchasing plants for our Healthy Food Initiative, thus enabling Dempsey Farms to grow food specifically to support our food agencies.
- Supplying food to agencies that are not yet a part of our network, including a health department in rural Ridgeland that issued an urgent plea for food for its patients.
- Collaborating with neighborhood groups to hold food drives to benefit some of our more rural agencies that lack community resources.
The needs continue to grow, with some predicting +30 percent increase in the need for food by our neighbors. Please help by donating today.